A group of five moms with one toddler and a 3-year-old in tow were just looking to unwind over lattes and some knockoff Cronuts last week at an Australian café, when things reportedly got weird. The moms got freaked out, they report, and eventually stormed off after employees allegedly started “snickering at us, laughing, and looking.” One of the women claimed in a one-star Facebook post that they had been targeted deliberately because of their kids, and it turns out she was correct.
“Are you child friendly,” the woman wrote in a negative review posted online, “because it doesn’t seem like it?”
What happened next has renewed the debate about babies and toddlers in restaurants that’s come up at three-star places, in Pittsburgh, Ontario, Williamsburg, and even in the dining room of one of the fanciest Michelin-starred places around. Little French Café owner Jodie Morris answered her rhetorical question: No, kids are not welcome.
The response has since been fleshed out with a note explaining Morris is a single mom herself, and then some.
OK, in a follow up to my previous post, which has been taken completely the wrong way by “some”, I do, really do understand parents with kids. I am one. Which makes it even harder to sit by and watch what “some” children do, when they are here in my cafe, knowing that if I say something, I’ll be admonished for it.
I can’t win either way.
It’s not AT ALL about discrimination. I built a cafe, based around the clientele in the area, which is local businesses.
If I had opened the cafe in a main st hub, which was open 7 days with my main clientele being predominantly parents, I would have built the cafe to suit that crowd.
I have been accused of having “attitude” because I have put my point across and answered peoples posts - again, I can’t win. The whole point which has been missed from the original post, was that the question was posed to me on the review part of the page, “Are you child friendly, as it doesn’t seem so?” I have never said, No, they are Not welcome here.
Had I have said yes of course we cater for children, and then people arrived with kids and prams, and nowhere to park them, nothing for kids on the menu, and nothing to entertain their children, then I would cop flack for misleading them, and face that backlash.
Thank you to all the lovely messages and inboxes of support. TLFC.
In a separate, since-deleted post, Morris wrote she was tired of being “subjected to children emptying salt and pepper shakers into my fireplaces, parents changing nappies on my lounges, kids grinding their own food into my carpet,” which makes sense, and so far the ban’s stirring up the usual online diatribes and huzzahs, some that predictably even blame the “spoilt and unreared” parents. Another creepily suggested that Morris “may just upset the wrong parent one day and the outcome may not be as expected,” but perhaps the most interesting thing about this is that the Little French Café isn’t a white-tablecloth sort of place; it’s a coffee shop in a strip mall.
Veiled threats aside, Morris says business is up, post-skirmish. Presumably, the carpets are also a little easier to clean these days.